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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nursing Miles

I never thought I would breastfeed. Scratch that. I never thought I'd have kids. I figured if I wanted kids, I would adopt. And if I ever did have kids of my own, I sure as hell was not going to breastfeed them. I found the whole thing kind of gross unnatural. Don't ask me why; I had issues. Man, how things change! When I turned 32, not only did I want kids, I actually wanted to give birth and nurse them too!
I feel very lucky that Miles was able to nurse from the beginning; that I could produce milk and that he could latch on properly to drink. You see, about 50 percent of children with Down syndrome are unable to nurse due to their low muscle tone, which affects their mouth muscles as well. Yet another wonderful surprise from Mr. Miles--that he could nurse even though he "wasn't supposed to be able to do it". And so, here we are, eight months later, still connected to each other several times a day while I nurse him. Besides the obvious health benefits, it also helps the muscles in his mouth develop, which will be beneficial with eating and speech.

Breastfeeding is actually harder than people think...just ask any mom whose done it or tried to do it. I know I've had it easy. Miles latched on within his first hour of birth and has been sucking every since! As much as I love it, I do go through moments of wanting to quit almost daily. But every times he is at my chest, looking up at me, smiling and playing with my hair while he drifts to sleep, I feel so in love and so fortunate to have this time with him that it keeps me going. I'd love to make it to a year, but I take it one month at a time. We'll see how long I last.....I'll keep you posted.

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